Drugs and Public Policy: When Will We Learn?

After a hundred years of international drug prohibition, what have we learned about this social issue? We have learned that you can’t buck the market: the drug markets work but prohibition does not. Drug use is an inherent part of our culture. Since the Sumerians wrote of the ‘joy of the poppy plant’ in 3000 BC to the crack dens of today, people in every society have wanted to use drugs. Drug use is an inherent feature of society, it cannot be ‘fixed’ it can only be managed.

In her new book, Sue Pryce from the School of Politics and International Relations tackles some of the major issues that surround drug policy. The book, Fixing Drugs: the politics of drug prohibition, asks a series of tough and timely questions: Why do we prohibit some drugs but not others? What are the unintended consequences of prohibition? Why do governments persist with prohibition policies despite their apparent failure?

 

Read a review of Fixing Drugs.

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